Sweet Dreams are Made of These
It took me a while to remember this, but I had a dream last night about tanking on my low level paladin. I haven’t played him in a long time and he’s sitting in Outland right now feeling sorry for himself, so I don’t know why the dream revolved around him.
But in my dream I was trying to tank Shadow Labs, and I hadn’t played in a while so I was a little uncertain about my rotation and abilities. Before I could even say hi someone pulled…and we proceeded to clear the entire first chamber with them pulling and me running along after them frantically trying to gather things up and get aggro. Except I wasn’t producing any threat whatsoever. All of the mobs seemed to just shrug off my attacks and continue to eat the DPS. No one seemed all that concerned that the tank wasn’t tanking (just a hint that this was a dream and not real life!) and I finally said something. “I would appreciate it if you guys didn’t pull :)” were my near-exact words. Someone immediately replied with something nasty about how I must be a girl and how I sucked. And then one by one they all left the group. So I sat there grumbling as I tried to figure out what was going on. I was using some sort of addon to modify my action bars and some spells were missing, some were made to be really small so I couldn’t tell what they were, and Righteous Fury was just gone. Like I never even trained it, or it never existed in the first place. So the dungeon finder refilled my group and they were bitching at me about putting on RF, but I couldn’t find it on my bars and when I went to open my spell book, I was locked out of it. Locked out of my own damned spell book! So after several more failed attempts to tank with no threat, I left.
I know it sounds a little bit like I smoked something loco before bed last night, but this is actually pretty common for me. I have lots of dreams in which something (usually something minor that my dream blows way out of proportion) is going terribly wrong and the solution is really simple but inaccessible. I have had numerous dreams in which there was an emergency situation but my cell phone didn’t work, or I was calling the wrong number over and over, or the right number was redirecting, or the emergency operator was telling me about her new cat instead of sending help. I think it is an innate fear in us that when we really need help, we wont be able to get it. So the dream kind of had that taste to me. I really needed to find Righteous Fury so as not to make an idiot of myself, but I couldn’t find it.
And I think my dream touches on a lot of other themes from the real game its self, too. I’m always super nervous and on edge when I tank for this exact reason. If you make one tiny little mistake most PuG groups wont hesitate to skin you alive for it. You’re on full display to everyone, rather as if you were standing naked on a stage in front of your entire high school class. I say high school because most players are about as tolerant and gentle as a group of 15 year olds. So being caught without RF on is sort of like being caught with your pants down.
It also touched on my pet peeve of having people who aren’t the tank run ahead and pull. I’ve kicked people for it. I bitch about it constantly. I can’t (and won’t) tolerate it. The dream sort of made me the odd man out, where the entire group was just pulling willy nilly and I was the lone bastion of sanity trying to ask them to stop. But when you’re the minority in a video game, people don’t want to listen to you. Why let the tank pull when they can just do it themselves? Especially when no one else seems to mind. It also pinpointed the rudeness of people in this game. You ask someone politely to do something (or stop doing something) and they typically respond rudely. I don’t remember the last time I had a polite exchange with someone in a PuG. If you point out to someone that what they are doing is wrong or not in the best interest of the group, it seems their knee-jerk reaction is to take that as an attack and respond in kind. You’re almost better bludgeoning them over the head with a cold “Knock that shit off or get the fuck out” than you are trying to say please and thank you.
Then there was the whole gender thing. I don’t really care who knows I’m a girl or not in game. It’s a non-issue for me and I despise people who try to make it so. Girls who act like they’re something special because they play video games make me want to vomit and guys who act like girls cant play video games make me want to punch them. Gender and video games are separate things. But like almost anything in our society, we try to gauge and presume someone’s performance in an area by the presence of their genitals. I have a vagina and I play video games: entirely separate ideas. I do not play video games using my vagina. When that happens, feel free to judge me by my gender.
So there we have it. I have weird dreams and a lot of ornery opinions.